Interacting Surfaces and Atmospheres in the Outer Solar System

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Interacting Surfaces and Atmospheres in the Outer Solar System

Authors
Type
Report
Publication Date
Sep 29, 1999
Source
SETI Institute
License
Green

Abstract

The work reported here is an extension of ongoing efforts in data reduction and modeling of the spectral reflectances of several objects in the outer Solar System. In general terms, this requires an evaluation of the data obtained at the telescope, conversion of those data into geometric albedo units, and the combination of individual spectrum segments into a complete spectrum over the wavelength interval of interest. The modeling effort to produce a synthetic spectrum of a given Solar System object requires the complex refractive indices (the optical constants) of candidate surface materials, including ices, minerals, and organic solids. Those indices are primarily available only through contacts with other researchers, including colleagues at NASA Ames and at other institutions. Once obtained, the indices must be convolved with the telescopic data and then used in a computational model to produce the required synthetic spectrum for comparison with the data obtained at the telescope. In this way, we reach a convergence on the chemical composition and microstructural properties of the surfaces of objects in the outer Solar System.

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